Truth to Power

Clone a Neanderthal? Why? We already have the GOP

A team of researchers led by geneticist Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany announced last week that they had completed a draft sequence of the genome of Neanderthal humans.

Once the Neanderthal genome is complete, could it then be used to clone an actual Neanderthal? Harvard University biologist George Church thinks so. He told The New York Times that a Neanderthal could be brought to life using present technology for about $30 million. How? Church would modify a modern human genome so that its DNA matches the Neanderthal version. To avoid ethical problems, Church tells the Times, this Neanderthal genome would not be inserted into a human cell but instead into a chimpanzee cell. This chimp cell would be reprogrammed to an embryonic state, and then introduced into a chimpanzee’s womb where it would develop into a Neanderthal infant.

But does this avoid ethical problems? Hardly. </em>

I can imagine loads of ethical issues with bringing one of these things back. And why do we need to see how cavemen behave, when we have such stellar examples right here in Utah?

Utah State Sen. Compares Gays To Alcoholics, Terrorists: ‘They’re The Greatest Threat To America’

Today, the Utah state legislature “dealt a final blow” to the last of five gay rights bills taken up under the Common Ground Initiative, when it defeated a bill that would have granted gay couples rights of inheritance and medical decision-making. Yesterday, the state House rejected bills that would have allowed gay adoption and protected gays from housing and employment discrimination.

Last night, Utah’s local ABC station received leaked portions of an interview with state senator Chris Buttars (R), which will be highlighted in an upcoming documentary on Proposition 8. Buttars is an outspoken opponent of gay rights; in the latest interview, he compares gays to alcoholics and Muslim terrorists, and warns that gay people are “probably the greatest threat to America.”</em>

Buttars: “Ugh. People love people bad. Special underwear good. Ugh.”

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